So like any red blooded American, I spent some time on this Black Friday analyzing Gerald Wallace's numbers. Ok so maybe I was the only person doing this instead of rioting at a Wal-Mart. But since I did some research, I figured I'd share it with everyone.
My conclusion: Wallace is off to one of the weirdest starts in NBA history. Here are some reasons why.
1. He hates shooting - Man oh man, Gerald Wallace hates shooting the basketball. This season, Wallace has played an average of 25.5 minutes per game, but only shot 4.1 field goal attempts per contest. Of the 153 NBA players averaging at least 25 MPG, no one else shoots less than 5 times per game..yet Crash is hoisting barely 4 shots per night.
2. He drains threes, but misses free throws - So far this season, Wallace has hit 10 of his 21 three-pointers, a 47.6% success rate. However, he has somehow only knocked down 9 of his 26 free throws, or 34.6% of his attempts. I used basketball references' "season finder" to see how many players in history had taken at least 20 threes and 20 FT's while hitting 45%+ from distance and less than 40% from the line. Not surprisingly - Gerald was the only one.
3. He turns the ball over at one of the highest rates in league history - Did you know that nearly one out of every three possessions that runs through Wallace ends up in a turnover? Crash's 32.7% turnover rate is the highest in the NBA of any player that has played 400+ minutes this season, and it's the 13th highest rate in NBA history (since 1946). Players that have managed a higher rate include: Andris Biedrins, Earl Watson (twice), Fabricio Oberto and Quinn Buckner. However, only two guys in league history have ever managed at least a 32% turnover rate with a usage rate (% of plays that run through a specific guy) above 12%. Wallace is currently on track to be the 3rd.
4. He can create turnovers as well - Just to show that this isn't all negative, we'll throw a positive in here. Wallace is one of only seven players this season to average at least 1.4 steals per game while playing less than 30 minutes a night. He's also one of only three guys to do it in less than 26 minutes per contest. So while he's turning the ball over at an historic clip, he's also forcing turnovers at an elite rate.
5. He's better than Jared Dudley - As I mentioned a bit earlier, there are 153 players who are averaging 25+ MPG this season. Of those 153, Wallace ranks 152nd in PER (player efficiency rating) with a 9.0. The bottom 5: 149. Avery Bradley (9.9 PER), 150. Tayshaun Prince (9.3), 151. Richard Jefferson (9.3), 152. Wallace (9.0), 153. Jared Dudley (8.1). So as bleak as things have looked so far, at least he's better than Dudley!
Breaking away from the stats for a second, it seems as though Wallace's season has been weird in other ways as well. He's seemingly constantly upset about the team's effort and his role on the team, yet he also gives an extremely high effort every night. There was also the fact that he didn't show his face in Boston until the last possible second after July's trade with the Nets, and the story about how big a Sox/Pats fan he is.
So I guess the moral of the story is: Crash is a weird guy. And unless some contender has seen something that we haven't in his play - he's going to be the Celtics weird guy for quite a while. So get used to the lack of shooting, the turnover bonanza (on both sides of the floor), the complaining and the diving for loose balls. It ain't going anywhere.
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Michael Dyer 11/29/2013 05:05:00 PM Tweet Edit